On the basis of the assumption that positive experiences enhance perceived ability to cope with the discomfort associated with negative performance feedback (NF), it was hypothesized that (a) positive experiences increase willingness to accept negative but useful feedback and that (b) individuals seek positive experiences before accepting NF. Experiment 1 found that past success increased Ss' interest in unrelated NF. Experiment 2 found that positive mood increased Ss' interest in NF. Experiment 3 investigated the amount of time Ss spent reading about their past success while waiting for new feedback. When the new feedback was mandatory, the time Ss spent reading about their past success increased with the anticipated negativity of the new feedback. However, when the new feedback was optional, the time Ss spent reading about their past success was an inverted-U function of the anticipated negativity of the new feedback. Results are discussed in terms of self-control processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science